Monday, December 31, 2012

When Verbs Matter

     New Year's Eve Day   2012.......
Within a few more hours many people will be donning their party hats, hoot and holler and welcome in the new year 2013!  Here's one the the early questions to which they will be asked to respond.
"What's your new year's resolution?"
"ugh...I guess that ...I will resolve to....."????   
Here's an occasion when a good form of the verb is a very valuable lesson.  Even if you select a great area of life improvement, you would be in better standing to select the best verb form.  Rather than..."I resolve to..."    I'd suggest that you phrase it this way....."I am resolving to...".
     Why????  My verb solution for you is in the present progressive form of the verb and that form offers meaning to the idea which may help you accomplish your goal in 2013 and in ALL following years.  This verb form implies an action which you are now doing and will continue to do into the future.  It indicates progression of action, not just a short "trial ballon" for the action; but rather a commitment to continue the action into the unknown and distant future of living.  This implies that you're willing to start the action NOW (before you forget that you made it or its significance) and that you're not going to let go of your desire to continue acting in this new manner. 
     Anyone who desires a deeper spiritual life must begin that path with a verb formated in this special tense.  God calls all humanity to a closer and more intimate walk within the desires of the Divine One.  But the task is not accomplished as a "knee-jerk" type of immediate action and then it's done.  No, it takes a life time to walk properly with God!   That's what the latin verb "conversio" implies.  It indicates that one resolves to live NOW and into the distant future a different (or converted) lifestyle.  This is the life change which Jesus and John the Baptist demanded of those who wanted to listen to their message and follow its principles. 
     Now then, I'd ask you..."What are you resolving to do in 2013?"
     If you desire a deeper walk with God, the starting point must be to pay more attention to the Divine One's presence in your life.  It's just like living with someone whom you love.   If you don't give them adequate attention each day, the relationship will fail.  Make more space...more time for your relationship with God each day.  That's hard in our ever busy world so filled with distractions and demands, but it's essential.  And that's where "conversio" comes into the picture.  Your resolution to give more quiet attention to the presence of God in your life is a "continuing  and progessive" expression of your resolution to change.  We all have 24 hours each day (2013 will not change that);  surely we can give 15 - 30 minutes each day in quiet attention to the voice and presence of God in our lives!  We don't have to fill that time with Scripture reading or prayerful talk; rather just sit quietly and sense that God is sitting right next to you.  I bet that very soon you'll be talking and listening to each other; attending to the hopes and needs of each other and communicating your love.  And if you phrased that resolution in the present progressive tense, you'll understand that this change will continue long into the future and be progressive, growing, maturing, and expanding into the spiritual lifestyle which God desires for you. That's what "conversio" is all about.  It's a life changing resolution.   So why waste a good new year's resolution on some junky choice that is quickly forgotten and of little importance when you can respond to that question by saying..."I am resolving to spend 15 - 30 minutes of quiet attention with my beloved Lord each day".